SPSS Inc. v. Nie, No. 08 C 66 (N.D. Ill.) (Darrah, Jr.).
The parties recently settled this trademark dispute shortly before trial. For more on the parties’ history and the settlement, click here for Chicago Tribune reporter and Chicago Law blogger Ameet Sachdev’s reporting on the case in the Tribune, and click here for more coverage of the case in the Blog’s archives.

Continue Reading Parties Settle Trademark Dispute on Eve of Trial

Here are several stories and updates, as well as a new IP blog:
At Patently-O, Dennis Crouch covers the Federal Circuit decision in the appeal from the Northern District of Illinois case SourceOne Global Partners, LLC v. KGK Synergize, Inc. — Click here for Crouch’s post on the appeal and here for my post on the underlying decision.
The latest installment of Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium is available — click here to listen. Lichtman and his guests from Microsoft, Paramount Pictures and MySpace discuss the protection of content in the digital age. As always, it is an excellent listen and CLE credit is available.
Seattle Trademark Lawyer Michael Atkins has another great post up about Olympic trademarks, this time featuring an article that ran in the Chicago Tribune (here) and LA Times (here) quoting both Atkins and me.
California attorney and mediator Erica Bristol has started the IP Watchtower blog. The blog covers all facets of intellectual property and the initial posts suggest it will be a great read. I have added it to my feed reader.

Continue Reading IP News Shorts

Illinois’s senior senator Dick Durbin recently sent President Obama the names of seven nominees to fill three vacancies on the Northern District of Illinois bench. The nominees are AUSA Edmond Chang, Illinois appellate Judge Sharon Coleman, Magistrate Judge Susan Cox (click here to read about Judge Cox’s IP opinions in the Blog’s archives), Thomas Durkin, Gary Feinerman, Mary Rowland and Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez (click here to read about Judge Valdez’s IP opinions in the Blog’s archives).
Here are biographies of each nominee from Senator Durbin’s press release:
Chang has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois since 1999, and he is currently the chief of appeals. He previously worked as an associate at Sidley Austin, and as a judicial law clerk to Judge Marvin Aspen in the Northern District of Illinois and Judge James Ryan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. He has served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University law school, where he graduated with honors and served on the law review. He lives in Northbrook.
Coleman is a judge on the Illinois Appellate Court, following her election in 2008. She served as a judge on the Circuit Court of Cook County from 1996 to 2008. Before that, she was a supervisor in the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. She has served on the boards of numerous bar associations and public interest organizations. She is a graduate of Washington University law school in St. Louis, and she lives in Chicago.
Cox has been a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Illinois since 2007. She previously worked as a litigator at several Chicago law firms, as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, and as a judicial law clerk to Judge Wayne Andersen in that district. Judge Cox has served on the boards of many bar associations and public interest organizations. She has taught as an adjunct professor at DePaul University law school, and she is a graduate of Boston University law school, where she served on the law review. Judge Cox lives in LaGrange.
Durkin has been a partner at Mayer Brown since 1993 and was the chair of the firm’s pro bono committee for nearly a decade. He previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois for over twelve years. He served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Stanley Roszkowski in the Northern District of Illinois. He is a graduate of DePaul University law school, where he has taught as an adjunct professor. Durkin lives in Downers Grove.
Feinerman has been a partner at Sidley Austin since 2007. From 2003 to 2007, he served as Illinois’s solicitor general, and before that he was a partner at Mayer Brown. He has argued numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and Illinois Supreme Court. He served as a judicial law clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joel Flaum on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago. He has served on numerous boards and is the president of the Appellate Lawyers Association of Illinois. He graduated from Stanford Law School and lives in Winnetka.
Rowland is a partner at the Chicago law firm of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, where she has worked since 2000. From 1990 to 2000, she worked at the Federal Defender Program in Chicago, including five years as the chief appellate attorney. She has served on numerous boards. She was a judicial law clerk to Judge Julian Cook in the Eastern District of Michigan, and she is a graduate of the University of Chicago law school. Rowland lives in Oak Park.
Valdez has been a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Illinois since 2005. From 1992 to 2005, she was the Chicago regional counsel and staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Prior to that, she worked as a Deputy Federal Public Defender in California. She has served on many boards. She is a graduate of the University of California-Hastings law school, and she lives in Western Springs.
A hat tip to Ameet Sachdev at the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Law Blog for identifying this story last week.

Continue Reading Senator Durbin Sends Northern District Judicial Nominees List to President Obama

IP Business Congress 2009 comes to Chicago in about two weeks, June 21-23, 2009 — click here for registration information. In honor of such an impressive group of IP lawyers coming to Chicago, I am hosting Meet the Bloggers VI on Tuesday evening June 23 starting at 5pm.
The IPBC is at the beautiful Four Seasons Chicago, but in order to make sure that attendees get a well-rounded taste of Chicago, Meet the Bloggers VI will be held at the world famous Billy Goat Tavern. The Billy Goat is just down and below the street from the Four Seasons at 430 N. Michigan Avenue. Go to the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue and take the stairs below the sidewalk to find the Billy Goat. Those who have a long history in the IP blogosphere will remember that the Billy Goat was also the site of Meet the Blogger III (I am on the left side of the second picture). Also, I want to thank Meet the Blogger creator and Meet the Blogger III host John Welch of the TTABlog for allowing me to use the Meet the Blogger name.
I am not making any promises, but I am hopeful that if you attend you will meet Chicago legal blogging luminaries such as Internet Cases; Chicago Law (an excellent new blog by the Chicago Tribune’s Ameet Sachdev); the anonymous Editor of Blawg Review; Cyberlaw Central; and 12:01 Tuesday. and the 271 Patent Blog.

Continue Reading Cheezborger! Cheezborger! No Fries . . . . Meet the Bloggers VI

Here are a few stories that do not warrant a full post:
* The mainstream media and the blogosphere are buzzing with predictions of who is on President Obama’s shortlist for replacing Justice Souter The Northern District’s Judge Castillo and the Seventh Circuit’s Judge Wood are both making many of the lists — check out one list at the Daily Writ. Both excellent choices. Over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune ran a story about a local expectation that someone connected to the University of Chicago would be appointed to the Supreme Court during the Obama presidency. I also wonder if the Northern District’s Judge St. Eve is or should be on some shortlists.
* Ronald Slusky is bringing his two-day patent claim drafting seminar to Chicago May 19-20. Slusky promises to teach “a comprehensive approach to analyzing inventions and capturing them in a sophisticated set of patent claims. Through this interactive seminar, participants will enhance their skills in a classroom setting.” I have not attended Slusky’s seminar myself, so I cannot speak to its value, but it definitely looks interesting.
* Last week the House held hearings about the Patent Reform Act. Check out some commentary on the hearings at Patently-O.
* I got out of the habit of posting each week’s Blawg Review, but last week’s was both too good and too unique to pass up. Blawg Review #209 is up at John Hochfelder’s New York Injury Cases Blog (another LexBlog site) — read it here. Hochfelder tells the moving story of his father’s life, the life of an American hero. Blawg Review #210 is also available at the China Law Blog — click here to read it. It is also an excellent Review based loosely on the 90th anniversary of China’s May 4th Movement.

Continue Reading Patent News: Patent Reform & Supreme Court Shortlist

Judge Moran passed away yesterday. Click here for the Northern District’s official statement.* This is a difficult post for me to write. It is hard, maybe impossible, to capture Judge Moran’s impact on the Northern District of Illinois in a relatively short blog post. Judge Moran served as a federal district judge for almost thirty years, including as Chief Judge in the early 1990s. Judge Moran also served Illinois as a state representative and spent several years in the Army after getting his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and before attending Harvard Law School.
As a district judge, Judge Moran was respectful, thoughtful, and thorough. Judge Moran’s most lasting contributions to the Northern District were likely as a mentor and a writer. Judge Moran’s opinions were detailed and well reasoned, but most of all his opinions were written in straight forward language that opened the federal courts to people without legal training. Judge Moran’s passing is a significant loss.
[UPDATE:] The Chicago Tribune posted a detailed obituary here with more comments from Judge Moran’s peers and a more detailed account of his impressive legal career.
* I will post more information regarding any memorials, as the information becomes available. On a procedural note, Judge St. Eve is hearing any motions pending on Judge Moran’s docket until further notice.

Continue Reading The Passing of Judge Moran

Here are several important, national patent and trademark stories:
Via Patent Docs (which has a new web address — http://www.patentdocs.org) a new patent reform bill (perhaps the first of three) may be issued as early as Monday, March 2 — click here to read the Patent Docs post.
President Obama has nominated Gary Locke to be the next Secretary of Commerce, which would put Locke in charge of the PTO. Locke, formerly the Governor of the state of Washington, is currently a partner in Davis Wright Tremaine’s Seattle office. For more on the appointment from the Chicago Tribune’s Swamp blog, click here. In his speech announcing the nomination, President Obama pointed out that among Locke’s many impressive credentials and accomplishments, he is an Eagle Scout. As an Eagle myself, I am always glad to see another succeed.

Continue Reading Patent Reform & Another Commerce Secretary

The Chicago Tribune ran an interesting article by Ann Meyer yesterday (click here to read it) discussing companies monetizing IP, specifically patents and dormant trademarks, not just through the more traditional means of litigation and licensing, but also through sales of the IP. While there are numerous brokers who help sell IP, the article focused on Chicago-based Ocean Tomo’s patent auctions. It is not very surprising that in a down economy companies are looking to their IP as a significant source of value. Nor is it surprising that companies would seek to avoid the upfront costs of both licensing and litigation in favor of a more immediate sale for IP the company is not using. Of course, the continued health of the patent, trademark and copyright dockets in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country prove that companies continue to monetize their IP and protect market space from competitors through more traditional means as well.

Continue Reading Chicago Tribune: Monetizing Intellectual Property

Blawg Review #175 is up at Jamie Spencer’s Austin DWI Lawyer (another LexBlog site) — click here to read the Review. Fitting with Ed.’s sense of humor, a DWI lawyer was chosen to host the Labor Day Review, instead of a more traditional pick, like a labor lawyer. Of course, there are lots of interesting DWI posts, and a few good IP links. Spencer links to Victoria Pynchon’s post at the IP ADR Blog about the arrest of a blogger who posted new Guns N’ Roses tracks before the group released its new album — click here to read it. In a “teeny tiny” act of civil disobedience, Pynchon posted the entire text of the LA Times story on the arrest. While I will admit to one or two acts of civil disobedience in my day, today you are just getting a link to the Chicago Tribune’s story by Michelle Quinn and Swati Pandey on the arrest and the increasing use of criminal copyright infringement prosecutions — click here.
September’s Carnival of Trust is up at Compensation Force — click here for the Carnival. There are no specific legal or IP posts this month, but lots of great stuff on building and maintaining relationships with trust.

Continue Reading Blawg Review & the September Carnival of Trust

The Chicago Tribune had two interesting legal stories earlier this week:
The Tribune’s Jamie Herzlich wrote a good article explaining the basics of trademarks, including why and how to file them — click here for the article. It is a great first resource for anyone looking at trademarks for the first time.
The Tribune’s Ann Therese Palmer wrote about and interviewed Pedro DeJesus, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Tampico Beverages, a Chicago-based company that is the leading refrigerated juice drink manufacturer — click here for the article. DeJesus, a former associate at DLA predecessor Piper Rudnick, does not appear to have an IP focus. But his story captured my attention, probably because, like me, he went to law school focused on public interest law, but ended up entering and enjoying commercial legal services. It is especially worth a read for current and aspiring law students. I echo Judge Castillo’s advice to DeJesus that anyone planning to do public interest law would benefit from some big firm experience. Big firms provide exposure to many facets of the law, including exciting public interest opportunities.

Continue Reading Tribune on IP & Law